|Sharing my stories & nonsense with everyone at the Sunnyvale Library|
I began a new year of storytimes for toddlers, preschoolers & families at the Livermore Public Library; and I found a NEW library home in Menlo Park! I'd been filling in for the occasional storytime at the Menlo Park Library since the previous summer, but in January they made it official, with a Library Assistant position, and a wonderful array of duties. Things started off with a pair of regular storytimes, plus early planning for both the Youth and Adult Summer Reading Programs.
|The Menlo Park Library. I love being here.|
I also paid my first visit of the year to Children's Fairyland, one of my very favorite storytelling homes! When I spend a weekend there, it's two performances each afternoon--and families who attend both get different stories each time.
|On stage at Children's Fairyland|
There was more school storytelling this month (in Redwood City & Palo Alto), plus all of my storytimes in both Menlo Park & Livermore.
I spent a week at Encinal Elementary in Atherton, storytelling & talking up the summer games about 25 classes visiting the school library, one at a time. A fun, invigorating change of pace!
Also in May, I brought some cool, interactive storytelling fun to schools & churches in Hayward, San Mateo, San Jose & San Ramon.
At the Livermore Public Library, Mondays kept me SO busy, with 3 storytimes. I'd begin with my "Dream Weaver Story Club" (stories, book-sharing, science & games with grade schoolers), then run inside for an Infant Storytime (those guys love me--it's my round head, I think), and finally return several hours later to finish out the day with a 7pm Family Storytime. I also had a school-age storytime Fridays at Livermore's Rincon Library, plus hosting all of the special programs I'd booked: music, animal education, puppetry and more.
In Menlo Park, I'd also booked summer programs--including a couple I'd put together as the person in charge of the Adult Summer Reading Program. I hosted a Plant Exchange, and also a dumpling-cooking program featuring chef & cookbook author Andrea Nguyen. Both events were huge hits, as were all of the ones I'd arranged for the family programs. Planning, publicizing, shopping, decorating and all the other details for the summer reading in Menlo Park--as well as learning from & collaborating with the wonderful, wise, dedicated & hard-working staff--kept me very happy, indeed. It was a very extensive, wildly-successful program.
June was not just "storytiming" and other library-staff-type stuff for me: I was also out & about, storytelling! I spun my tales at Children's Fairyland, the Campbell Library, and schools in Cupertino & Concord.
|The San Luis Obispo Library, and some of its creative furniture.|
More storytelling closer to home, at libraries (Cupertino & Fairfield), schools (Fremont, Belmont, San Ramon & Morgan Hill), and (a sleepover event at) Children's Fairyland.
My busy season continued at the libraries in Livermore & Menlo Park--and July marked a year since there very first time I'd set foot in the Menlo Park Library for the one-time assignment of filling in for its Toddler & Bilingual Storytimes. I sure am glad that first visit was a success!
Something else new & exciting that started in October was my Thursday Afternoon Storytelling series at the Menlo Park Library. The Children's Librarian, ever thinking of how she could use a storyteller on her staff (having previously assigned me to storytelling at local schools & for class visits to the library, and a staff training in adding elements of storytelling to their storytime reading), suggested this new event just for school-agers & their adults. It's "something cool after school" for the big kids, and it's gotten off to a really great start. I enjoy exposing everyone to storytelling and folklore, and getting those "398s"--the library's folktale collection--moving off of the shelves!
|The new Thursday Afternoon Storytelling series was covered by the local news site, InMenlo.|
My final school visit of the year was at a huge Book Fair event at a school in Hillsborough. Such a large crowd, such a variety of ages--and I loved hearing afterward that kids wouldn't allow their adults to drag them away before the stories ran out! I could tell there were also some adults who would not allow their kids to drag them away before the stories' end.
|Looking forward to the 2014 Asilomar Reading Conference!|